Overview: (Left) We propose a process for rapidly creating realistic hand models and their relevance for neurorehabilitation (Middle) Our prototype using applying the concept of mirror therapy in Mixed Reality (Right) Demo application utilising gamification and mirrored hands as often utilised for the rehabilitation of stroke and unilateral motor impairments.
Abstract:We have developed a novel and affordable way to texture virtual hands from individually taken photographs and integrated the virtual hands into a mixed reality neurorehabilitation system. This mixed reality system allows for serious game play with mirrored and non-mirrored hands, designed for patients with unilateral motor impairments. Before we can ethically have patients use the system, we must show that embodiment can be achieved for healthy users. We compare our approach’s results to previous work in the field and present a study with 48 healthy (non-clinical) participants targeting visual fidelity and self-location. We show that embodiment can be achieved for mirrored and non-mirrored hand representations and that the higher realism of virtual hands achieved by our texturing approach alters perceived embodiment. We further evaluate whether using virtual hands resized to the individual’s hand size affects embodiment. We present a 16-participant study where we could not find a significant difference with personal resized hands. In addition to rehabilitation contexts, our find- ings have implications for the design and development of applications where embodiment is of high importance, such as surgical training and remote collaboration.
Acknowledgements: This work is supported by a Brain Research New Zealand PhD scholarship.